Tourist trap: A sign of the times...
THE mastermind behind a fictitious website encouraging tourists to look for a non-existent beach has resurrected the hoax.
Fresh signs, pointing the way to Porthemmet Beach, have re-emerged around the county.
The slogan of the Porthemmet beach on the web site.
Described as the 'best beach in Cornwall' on its website – www.porthemmet.com – Porthemmet successfully reeled in tourists following its launch last year, sending visitors on a merry-go-round across Cornwall.
Tourists were eventually led out of the county with a series of signs on the A30.
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But now fresh signs have appeared – including one at Kingsley Village services, Fraddon. Jokingly, website creator, Jonty Haywood, said: “I think that all the signs here, no pun intended, point to one obvious culprit.
“Osama bin Laden! We haven't heard from him in quite a while, and sneaking around the Cornish countryside misleading tourists is exactly the kind of thing I'd expect from him.”
On a more serious note, Jonty – originally from Truro – explained the real reason for the new signs.
He said: “I have heard that the first person to e-mail the location of all seven signs to email@example.com will win a Porthemmet T-shirt.”
The Porthemmet website hit national headlines last year, following a story in the Cornish Guardian. The use of the word Emmett – a derisory term for a tourist – gives the game away to locals.
But the site convinced many tourists, telling them: “There is a private joke in Cornwall whereby locals will pretend to not know where Porthemmet Beach is. Don't be fooled!”
Mr Haywood said the idea for the hoax came after a similar prank in Scandinavia, where locals would tell tourists to go to a mythical bar, called the Ice Bar, the best in the area.
The website and a fan page on social networking website Facebook have proved popular. The Facebook site has nearly 3,000 members. For more, visit www.porthemmet.com